Obst to lead Australia to 2017 World Youth Cup

_MCA3457LiAustralia’s preparations to reclaim the World Youth Netball Cup in 2017 has stepped up a notch with the announcement that Tania Obst will continue in the role of national 21/U head coach for another two years.

Having held the position since the start of 2014, Obst, pictured right, is excited to be tasked with the responsibility of fine tuning Australia’s World Youth Cup campaign over the next 18 months. The 2017 tournament will be played in the African nation of Botswana.

National selector Michelle Wilkins has also been reappointed as 21/U assistant coach.

“Having been involved with Netball Australia’s 19/U tour of New Zealand this year gave me a great insight into the talent that we have in that age group, who will form the nucleus of our 2017 World Youth Netball Cup team,” Obst said.

“Between now and when the team is selected in early 2017, Michelle and I will be keeping a keen eye on the development of those athletes along with the performances at next year’s 21/U and 19/U national titles.

“How athletes perform at those championships and also in the Australian Netball League will form a crucial part of our selection process.

“A number of athletes eligible for the 2017 World Youth Netball Cup are in the fortunate positon of having ANZ Championship contracts and we would expect being exposed to that environment will further complement their development.”

Wilkins, who played six Tests for Australia, is also head coach at the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) and is looking forward to working in partnership with Obst to deliver Australia further international success.

“The depth of talent across Australian netball is extraordinary and it will be very exciting to be a part of the developing our potential future Diamonds,” Wilkins said.

Netball Australia’s Head of High Performance Andrew Collins is delighted to start the long-term planning towards ultimately reclaiming the World Youth Cup.

“Both Tania and Michelle have a strong affinity and capacity to develop young talent,” Collins said.

“Both have very good backgrounds of bringing athletes through their state systems. They have worked together extremely well over the last two years leading our 21/U program and we’re now seeing some of those emerge into the Diamonds squad.

“Both are fiercely competitive and have high expectations of those athletes. They are under no illusions how difficult it will be to win in Africa however we believe we have the right coaching leadership to get a great result.”